Short overview of 5 things on September 13

Natural gas prices fell in Europe

New possibilities emerge from war in Ukraine

The Twitter-Musk fight continues

China is cozying up with Russia

Coming up 

Down, Finally

Natural gas prices fell as the European Union started outlining details of its intervention into an unprecedented energy crisis, including a proposal for targets to reduce electricity demand. Power prices also slumped.
The EU is seeking to curb power consumption and provide liquidity to energy markets as it seeks to prevent the crisis from engulfing the broader economy. Still, prices remain almost eight times higher than normal for the time of year. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. expects they will halve from current levels sometime in the first quarter of 2023. 

War in Ukraine

The speed and success of Ukraine’s northern counteroffensive is raising possibilities that few entertained when Russia invaded Ukraine in February: That its military could be defeated, or that it might even collapse. A rapid meltdown remains unlikely, with even the day’s battlefield developments unclear, let alone the plans and precise conditions of the Russian and Ukrainian militaries. Russia still controls about one-fifth of Ukrainian territory and much of how the Ukrainian success impacts on the war more widely will depend on Russia’s response. So far, Putin has been reluctant to formally declare war and mobilize the nation

Twitter Feud

Twitter rejected a third attempt by Elon Musk to cancel his agreement to buy the social network, a day before the company’s shareholders are to vote on the $44 billion deal. Twitter’s lawyers said in a letter Monday that the billionaire’s attempt to walk away is “invalid and wrongful” and “Twitter has breached none of its representations or obligations,” according to a regulatory filing. Musk has said Twitter should have notified him before it spent $7.75 million in a separation agreement with Peiter Zatko, the company’s former security chief, who has raised concerns including the number of “bots” on the platform. The San Francisco-based company has denied Musk’s claims over spam bots.

China-Russia

China is willing to work with Russia to take the global order “in a more just and reasonable direction,” Beijing’s top diplomat said, underscoring the depth of the two nations’ ties. President Xi Jinping Xi plans to travel to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan this week for his first trip abroad since the start of the pandemic, giving him a chance to meet President Vladimir Putin in person for the first time since Moscow began its invasion of Ukraine in February. China has sought to present itself as a neutral party in Russia’s war, despite Xi’s declaration of a “no limits” partnership with Putin weeks before the attack.

Coming Up…

European stocks are poised to take a breather after rallying on Monday amid expectations for cooling US consumer price data. Investors will be closely eyeing the inflation print for clues on whether the Fed will deliver another jumbo-sized rate hike next week. The 77th UN General Assembly opens in New York, with Russia’s war in Ukraine among major discussion points. Twitter holds a special shareholder meeting to vote on its sale to Elon Musk. Expected data include UK unemployment and German investor-confidence survey. With all that going on, thankfully it’s a quiet day on the earnings front.

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(Source: Bloomberg, Sept. 13-2022)

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